So, Miss X and I had decided to circulate the blueprint I had written up to 10 – 15 experts in the field as our “Alpha Testers”. They were each asked to review the document and respond with their thoughts on these aspects:
- if they thought it made sense,
- if they had heard of anything like this before,
- and if they could suggest considerations or improvements.
From Hong Kong to Pakistan, England to Australia, that pack – with an NDA precursor – went out to the most accomplished and well-respected OE, HR, Comms, Learning and Leadership experts I had ever met.
I felt back on track with the concept. Now just awaiting responses…
I love working from home – it’s fantastic. Sure, you need to pack in the quality work time before the kids come home from school. And there’s always the odd situation, like when people on skype ask what the background noise is and I have to say that it’s the hamster gnawing on the side of his plastic cage.
But you can put whatever music you want on when you need to concentrate, go for a cycle ride when you need some fresh air. Turn the washing loads around when you’re on a break anyway. There’s obviously ZERO travel to work time. Oh, I feel SO comfortable with self-employment in my own environment.
Now getting impatient…
Jeremy and his colleagues from the leadership development company I was in contact with in London were among the experts we consulted. Their reaction – as potential partners – would be crucial.
I stopped waiting and started pushing to schedule a call, but it was difficult to pin down a time. Client work was taking them to Singapore and France, but I managed to get something in the diary for 11.00 on the following Wednesday morning. I realised the Monday beforehand that there was a lot resting on their views. If they weren’t interested, would I need to find another partner to collaborate with – and if so, where would I start? It was starting to feel tantalizingly like waiting for the results of an exam.
At 10.00 that morning I sent an email to confirm the call time. Jeremy got back to me, admitting that he had not had the time to read the blueprint pack. WHAT?! I was convinced this was a signal – he was preparing me for negative feedback…. Of course, why would this even be a priority for them?
At 10.55 the call changed from a skype call to a conference call and I faffed about nervously trying to locate the Netherlands international dial in number whilst also downloading some video software that the meeting request had provided a link to. Ah, apparently it would just be a voice call…
Simultaneously, an email from Jeremy. I scanned it – flustered.
Apparently, he had asked Sebastian (a member of his team – a licensed psychologist and experienced leadership assessment consultant with 8 years with Fortune 500 companies, specialised in high potential identification) to review the blueprint. He had included Sebastian’s verdict in the email. SCANNING….
Largely he said the logic stacked up, the definitions of certain terms needed clarifying but generally – it made sense – bla bla bla – I scrolled…. Jeremy’s comments on that…
Having seen Sebastian’s feedback he had found the time to read the document just earlier – the thinking has come on leaps and bounds – it was certainly exciting – we should use Sebastian’s email as the agenda for the call bla bla…… !!!!
The rush of warmth all over me was overwhelming– I couldn’t stop smiling, feeling thankful. Husband Ferdinand had been banished downstairs and I couldn’t wait to share the news with him later.
Now it was time to dial in. Whilst dialling the number I blurted out an American “whoop” involuntarily and even when we connected on the line, during Jeremy’s introduction, I had to mute to cough and get myself under control. Anything they said would have been ok at this point. They were in. It was endorsement, connections, expertise…
We agreed in principle, to work together to take Mirror Mirror to market and set a meeting date in London 3 weeks away.
The positive feedback that came in one by one over the following days or so from the rest of the Alpha group was similarly positive. Music to my ears – I was truly overjoyed. The points raised were ‘things to consider’ rather than showstoppers. We had something, we really did!
Mirror Mirror was on solid ground. It had the thumbs up from our Alpha Group and a partnership (in the making) with a London-based leadership development company.
For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com